Smithfield Foods Inc. reports that its new carbon reduction goal will reduce the company’s GHG emissions by nearly 5 million metric tons—the equivalent of removing over 1 million cars from the world’s roads or planting 216 million new trees. The expanded initiative follows on the heels of its commitment last fall to become carbon negative across its U.S. company-owned operations and builds upon the company’s industry-first 2016 carbon reduction goal to reduce absolute GHG emissions 25 percent across its U.S. supply chain by 2025.

The company reports progress toward its 25 percent by 2025 goal in its new report. These latest environmental goals are among many other goals the company has set across its holistic sustainability platform, which is modeled after the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our latest commitments underscore Smithfield’s perennial dedication to sustainability,” says Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Following an unprecedented year, Smithfield carries a renewed sense of purpose in our calling to responsibly produce food and ensure access to affordable, high-quality protein for the growing global population. Through the significant efforts we have undertaken through our sustainability program, we are continuing to realize this call through initiatives that create value for our company and for our stakeholders.”

To further affirm its environmental commitments, Smithfield recently signed to Business Ambition for 1.5°C, a global campaign designed to drive climate action in the private sector to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050 and align with a 1.5°C future. The joint initiative, comprised of corporate leaders taking climate action, is modeled after the Paris Climate Accord and spearheaded by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)—a partnership between CDP Worldwide, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Our latest climate targets, newly added priorities and refreshed commitments build on nearly two decades of sustainability leadership,” says Leeth. “Our new report reflects our progress to date and outlines important new strategic priorities and commitments for the future aimed at further improving our sustainable practices from farm to facility to fork.”

Sustainability highlights with regard to food safety and quality include achieving its recurrent food safety and quality target of zero domestic product recalls amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and maintaining Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification at 100 percent of applicable facilities in the U.S., Poland and Romania.

Smithfield’s 2020 Sustainability Impact Report is available at